along the summit. I had thus hoped to attack the enemy in front and flank at the same time, and also to cut off his retreat by the Abingdon road, but by some oversight the path down the farther side of the mountain was not discovered until the head of the column was so far past it as to cause too great a delay in the attack in case it should be sent back. The difficulty of the ascent, which was increased by the heavy snow-storm which was then raging, delayed me beyond the appointed time, and Major McLaughlin made an attack in front, but after a sharp skirmish was compelled to retreat. It had sufficed, however, to draw the enemy's attention in that quarter, and the infantry had almost reached the Gap before they were discovered. The enemy formed in line of battle and made a show of resistance, but a half a dozen volleys at long range, by which 1 of his men was killed and several wounded, among the ravines and thick undergrowth of the mountains. My skirmisher followed them until they were completely scattered, and as soon as the cavalry reascended the hill I sent them forward to pursue such as had taken the main road to Abingdon. They pursued them 6 miles, until they were totally dispersed.
The enemy had two camps, one at the summit of the mountain and the other 1 1/2 miles distant, near its farther foot. Their quarters consisted of 60 log huts, capable of containing from 15 to 20 men each, and two large buildings for quartermaster and commissary stores. They had abandoned everything in their precipitate flight. After preserving their muster rolls, official records, and a large number of letters (several from General Marshall), and such articles as could at once be made serviceable to my men, I burned their huts and contents, a half dozen army wagons, and a large quantity of stores.
There were no casualties on our side, but the march was a severe one. It rained and snowed nearly the whole time, and the men were obliged frequently to ford streams. From an autograph letter of General Marshall's, found in the camp and bearing date March 12, I learn that he had gone to Lebanon, and is preparing to make a stand at Moccasin Gap, 20 miles this side of Abingdon. His attempt to raise the State militia has proved a failure. The people of that part of Virginia are heartily sick of the rebellion, and have not generally responded to his call.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. GARFIELD,
Captain J. B. FRY,
No. 2. Reports of Brig. General Humphrey Marshall, C. S. Army.
LEBANON, KY., March 19, 1862.
GENERAL: Since I closed my letter to you I have received from Major Thompson, commanding at Pound Gap, a dispatch for orders, dated 18th, at Gladesville, Wise County. It confirms the rumor that reached me on the night of the 17th. Major T. says:
I got out with all my men. I fought them nearly an hour a half, until my retreat was nearly cut off. Then I was forced to retreat. The enemy was 2,500 infantry and 100 cavalry. My men are entirely without tents or blankets.